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What Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central partners will take away from Directions North America 2018, Part 1

by Jason Gumpert
October 04 2018

What did Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central partners think of Microsoft's performance at Directions North America 2018? The easy first impression: better than last year. While it sounds glib, it was a real response, used over and over. More importantly, the key messages that Microsoft needed to land at the event seemed to get there: that Business Central is improving, it is ready to sell, and Microsoft is committed to it for the long term.

Partners said they see in the October 2018 release of Business Central a solution that they can sell to the same types of organizations that would have looked at NAV. It shows off an improving user experience and it begins to tie in other Microsoft cloud services in a meaningful way including, most prominently, Power BI, Office 365, and Azure ML.

Microsoft offered partners updates in a range of areas at Directions North America. Much of the news delivered by the Business Central team was more incremental than transformational, a fact that also seemed to contribute to the lower heartburn levels at this year's conference. Licensing updates represent a big adjustment that partners will have to work through with existing NAV, GP, and SL clients. But other areas like the changing partner economy, the future of integration, and the web client, all built off what partners have already observed from Microsoft and the market.

The 850+ attendee event also gave Microsoft a chance to hone the message that will be delivering at the larger Directions EMEA conference starting on Oct 29 in The Hague. Let's ...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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